Multiple Health Condition Sufferer Receives Conflicting Medical Advice
When Paul Froggett, a 48 year old engineer from Leeds, started having serious pains in his side earlier this year, he knew something was very wrong.
Upon being taken to A&E, he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT is when blood clots form in the deeper veins of the body, occurring in places such as the legs, thighs and pelvis. Small pieces of these clots can break off and travel back to the heart through these deep veins, eventually ending up in the arteries of the lung, which is known as a PE.
As well as this, Paul also suffers from asthma, which he’s had since 1971.
A Struggle to be Diagnosed
Paul struggled at first to get a diagnosis from doctors about his side pains.
“They hadn’t a clue about the PE and DVT when I talked to them about my symptoms before going to hospital. According to the doctors it was a pulled muscle in my side and physiotherapy would sort it out.
“After going to hospital I was given a chest x-ray and dye was put into my body to prove the clots were there.”
It took three days to receive a proper diagnosis for his PE and a prescription for Rivaroxaban, a blood thinner that stops blood clotting.
Getting a proper diagnosis for his asthma took even longer – four months to be exact, and Paul still has difficulty with the support offered by his doctors.
“Opinion regarding the severity of my asthma seems to differ from doctor to doctor. My last doctor’s practice was a lot better than my current one, so I am going to change again and see if the new practice is any better.
“They tend to go through the motions of prescribing the same inhalers without trying different ones, or they go a step further and refer me straight to a specialist.
“One doctor even told me I didn’t have asthma at all, that I just needed to change the way I breathed.
“I’d always recommend anyone suffering from a medical condition to get a second opinion as they vary so much.”
Adapting to Life with a Health Condition
Paul’s asthma can leave him quite breathless and he has to be careful not to overdo it.
“I can’t do anything strenuous as it makes me short of breath to the point where if I can’t get to an inhaler quickly, I panic that I may have a seizure.
“Things like extreme physical exercise, stress and humidity can set my asthma off, so I use my inhaler twice a day to regulate it.”
Paul controls his asthma by being organised and taking precautions.
“I make sure I have enough inhalers and avoid places where it may trigger the asthma. When I go on holiday I go in low season when the weather is cooler and not to very hot countries.”
His DVT and PE require him to be more cautious in daily life.
“I take medication every day and avoid situations where I might cut myself such as DIY or gardening. I have to be really careful to make sure I don’t bleed as it won’t clot properly due to my medication.
“I’m lucky that I haven’t had any side effects to my medication as it can cause problems.”
Paul tries to stay up-to-date on new medical treatment and news via the Asthma UK website, which he’s a strong supporter of.
He also tries to maintain a positive outlook and lead a healthy lifestyle despite his conditions.
“To stay healthy I do some gentle cycling, occasional walking and I eat well. I’ve been unable to participate in sports or clubs as the exertion would be too much.”
To overcome daily risks Paul informs others around him of his conditions.
“I tell new people I’m around a lot that I have inhalers and if I have an attack to make sure they administer them for me. Now I have my medical id bracelet people will know of the other medication I have to avoid rather than take.”
His ID Band Product
Paul found The ID Band Company online whilst looking for medical ID jewellery.
“I bought the stainless steel bracelet with no nickel in as it’s more obvious than a necklace. It’s comfortable, easy to wear and gives me peace of mind knowing that if something happens to me, others can see straight away what the problem is.
“I think it’s really important for people with medical conditions to wear some kind of ID to help others know how to treat you.
“I’d definitely use the ID Band Company again and I recommend them to others.”